I’m a writer and I ask myself the “what would happen if?” question a lot.
That question is part of my toolkit when I’m starting a new novel. It’s the question that encourages me to try different paths for my stories.
I’ve never asked myself the question so much as I have in the dark hours of the night during the past couple of weeks. The story that’s unravelling on the news every day still seems unbelievable to me. I’m sure many of you feel the same way.
My “what would happen if?” questions range from scary world wide problems involving whole continents not being able ride out the virus to equally scary personal fears as I try to assess which of my family and friends might be healthy enough to withstand an encounter with this unknown enemy.
Some of you may know that isolation and not knowing whether I’ll survive or not is not new to me. In the past, I’ve had two bouts of cancer treatment. The day after my daughter’s wedding, I was hospitalised with sepsis when my immune system was weakened by chemotherapy and couldn’t cope with hugs of congratulations. However, this battle just involved me. I didn’t have to worry about my grandchildren, my family and a husband with an “underlying condition”.
Right now, my brain is on danger alert for everyone and it’s exhausting. So many of my writer friends are saying that they are locked down and, although it’s an ideal time to escape into their writing projects, they can’t. I’m sure that’s because all of our “what would happen if?”questions are now about our own world, the survival of Mother Earth and how it will change in future.
I don’t know how you are coping but I’ll share my strategy. I’m trying to structure when and how often I listen to news, I’m trying to ration how long I’m anxious before distracting myself because worry changes nothing and I’m trying to enjoy the pleasures that are still present in this wonderful world every day.
There are good stories as well as bad coming out of this crisis – brave key workers, community spirit, hilarious dark humour and less pollution.
Today I’m in Spain on day 17 of lock down and I’m sitting at my laptop writing this blog. I’m healthy and able to write and that makes me feel blessed.
My motto is to stay safe, be kind and enjoy everything I can. What’s yours?
6 thoughts on “What Would Happen If?”
This is powerful Christie, do you have any memoirs of these challenging times? Would love to hear more of your insights.
Stay safe and enjoy the ☀️ sun.
Hi Jacqui My blog covers the last few years but earlier events aren’t in a memoir. May come out in my Fiction at some time though. Thanks for your comment.
Great blog. Stay safe. Normally, at this time of year, we are preparing to leave for our 6-month stint in Italy. So, it is very strange to think that we shall be staying in UK. But, I’m trying to remain positive and use the novelty factor. Maybe we’ll be able to dip in the sea here in Sussex. I blogged about strategies too: I have a contract for a book so I’m concentrating on that and phoning elderly relatives more frequently. We are trying to help our young grandchildren with some extra (fun) sessions of home tuition; I’ve joined an on-line Pilates class and am loving the birdsong that is usually drowned out by the traffic noise. Stay safe and positive, Chrissie. xx
I love your positivity Angela. You have the right attitude and one day this will all be over. Stay safe.
Good post Chrissie – and sound advice! Mine is; still enjoy the small pleasures that are now major ones – morning coffee, daily exercise, sharing funny memes with family and friends, watching spring flowers appearing ….
I agree Janet. Some hilarious memes going around and they show we can keep some sense of perspective. Stay safe and let’s hope our chapter can meet in the summer sometime.